Hungarian official calls US human rights report on country “rather strange”

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The US State Department’s recent report on Hungary has failed to reflect achievements of the country’s complex Roma inclusion strategy, state secretary at the Human Resources Ministry Zoltán Kovács told MTI on Saturday. “A comprehensive programme is under way; failing to recognise or at least refer to its achievements is rather strange,” Kovács said. The official encouraged critics of Hungary to “start paying attention to good practices” and said that repeated recital of existing problems will not help resolve issues around the Roma minority. Kovács said Hungary’s comprehensive approach to problems of the Roma was based on working in the areas of labor, education, health and culture, rather than considering those problems purely on a human rights basis. On Friday, the US Department of State released its annual human rights reports. The report on Hungary highlighted discrimination and exclusion of the Roma minority and violent right-wing extremism among the gravest problems. According to the report, discrimination against the Roma continues to significantly restrict their access to education, labour opportunities, health and welfare services. Manifestations of right-wing extremism have continued in the country, including public campaigns staged by para-military groups, intimidation of the Roma and other minorities, as well as incitement of hatred against them, the document said.

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